Fiesta and Friends

When it comes to social gatherings, sometimes the “let’s get together and sit around and talk and eat good food” is a fine way to spend an evening. Every once in a while, though, it can be fun to create an actual setting and theme for your party, ask everyone to dress up, have authentic food and music, and really go all out. This party suggestion is the “go all out” kind. If you are wanting to curl up in a ball and go to a happy place, you had better not continue reading. For those who are not faint of heart, or in my case, slightly lazy…let’s get the ideas rolling.

Party Idea: Mexican Fiesta.

* Music: If it is in the budget, hire a band to play the real thing. You know, serenades, dances, etc. Otherwise, have the music playing in a place that all can hear and enjoy.

* Decorations: Set up the entire place, whether indoors or out, as a Mexican villa or a desert hideaway. There are scene setters available that show the tile and stucco that is so genuinely south of the border, or a desert scene setter with cactus and the like. Scene setters are particularly nice because the artwork has been done, it looks professional and it covers a lot of space. A pinata and sombreros would also be a nice addition.You can add in whatever finishing touches you want.

* Food: Because most of us love Mexican fare, with the American twist on it, it is really a matter of deciding what you want, and what the budget will allow. Are you thinking sit-down dinner or casual finger foods? Do you want disposable plates and cups to match, or stoneware that looks like it belongs? A few ideas for finger foods are: homemade chips (corn or flour tortillas cut in wedges and deep fried and salted) with fresh salsa. Mangoes, pineapple, corn, and black beans are great compliments to a fresh homemade salsa. Fresh fruit with lime juice squeezed on top–mangoes, kiwis, pineapple, etc. For a main course meal, enchiladas or tamales, with a side of flavored beans or rice. Whatever you decide, don’t forget the cilantro. It has the ability to transform an ordinary dish into something delicious.

Set a date far enough in advance that you can have an RSVP, but not so far that everyone forgets. Ask everyone to dress the part. A party is so much more enjoyable when everyone participates, even if it means getting out of comfort zones. Ole!